Nvidia, AMD tease secretive new hardware at VR event

At VRLA, Nvidia showed off a refined version of its Light Field Display prototype, while AMD drove experiences with a dual-Fiji GPU Radeon card.

nvidia light field display

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If secretive new hardware from the big dogs in PC graphics gets your mouth watering, the VRLA virtual reality event in Los Angeles was the place to be this weekend. Both Nvidia and AMD were at the event, showing off unreleased VR-related gear to attendees.

The most surprising appearance came from Nvidia, which whipped out a more refined prototype of the Light Field Display prototype headset that was first revealed at Siggraph 2015 in August with an almost View Master-esque design. The version revealed at VRLA looks much more appealing.

Sadly, that single tweet from the GeForce account is the only publicly available information about the new Light Field Display prototype. When pinged for comment this weekend, Nvidia representative Bryan Del Rizzo would only say the following:

“What we showed at VRLA is a research prototype built in collaboration with Stanford University to explore how future lightfield technologies can improve the VR experience. Nvidia regularly conducts research on future technologies to help the industry find solutions to tough visual computing challenges. The prototype was first shown at Siggraph 2015, and based on interest from the industry, we showed it again at VRLA.

We aren’t disclosing any additional information at this time.”


Dual-Fiji strikes again

The most powerful graphics card AMD’s ever created put in an appearance of its own at VRLA. A Radeon graphics card built around not one, but two high-bandwidth memory-powered Fiji GPUs was supposed to be released last year, but AMD pushed back its launch to coincide with the release of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive sometime around March/April. (Driving a VR headset’s dual displays is a natural use case for a dual-GPU graphics card.) The beast nevertheless made an appearance at VRLA to drive various VR experiences from inside one of Falcon Northwest’s diminutive Tiki PCs.

While Nvidia made a point of pushing its Light Field Display prototype in front of a camera, AMD’s forthcoming GPU never once appeared in the wild. With its launch presumably looming later this quarter, however, don’t expect dual-Fiji to stay hidden for much longer.

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